Canadian Employment – September, 2018

Total Canadian employment declined by 52,000 jobs in August, reversing similar sized gains from July. Part-time job losses, concentrated in Ontario, were the culprit behind the out-sized decline, falling by 92,000 jobs while full-time jobs rose by 40,000. The national unemployment rate increased 0.2 points to 6 per cent and total hours worked across the economy rose 1.6 per cent. Total employment was up 0.9 per cent over this time last year.

In BC, employment rose for a second consecutive month as the economy added close to 10,000 jobs in August. On a year-over-year basis, employment was flat and the provincial unemployment rate rose 0.3 points to 5.3 per cent as more people were actively searching for work.

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

Use All Your Strength

Just before dusk on the last night of an end-of-summer camping trip, a young boy and his father were walking through the woods. They walked and talked together for some time until they came across a fallen tree branch on the ground in front of them. The boy cheerfully ran ahead and called back to his dad, “Do you think I could move that branch?” His father replied, “I know you can, if you use all your strength.”

The boy grabbed the branch and struggled with trying to lift or push it in any direction, but the branch was heavy and long. The boy paused, then pushed one last time as hard as he could before he slumped over. He let out a deep sigh and said, “You were wrong, dad. I’m just not strong enough to move it.”

“Try again,” replied his father. Again, the boy tried hard to move the branch. No matter how much he struggled, it did not budge.

“Dad, I cannot do it,” said the frustrated boy. Finally, his father got down close to him and gently said, “Son, I advised you to use all your strength. You didn’t. You didn’t ask for my help.”

Canadian Manufacturing Sales – September, 2018

Canadian manufacturing sales increased for a third consecutive month, rising 0.9 per cent on a monthly basis in July. Sales were higher in 11 of 21 manufacturing sub-sectors, representing 68 per cent of manufacturing sales.

In BC, where the manufacturing sector employs about 170,000 people, manufacturing sales fell 1.7 per cent on a monthly basis but were 10 per cent higher year-over-year. Manufacturing in BC has maintained robust growth this year, particularly in the forestry sector. That growth is providing a boost to markets around the province in which the forestry sector is a major employer.

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

The September Issue of Mortgage Rate Forecast

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Commercial real estate sales down, prices up in the Lower Mainland

The commercial real estate market in the Lower Mainland continued to see fewer transactions in the second quarter (Q2) of 2018 compared to recent years.

There were 569 commercial real estate sales in the Lower Mainland in Q2 2018, a 16.3 per cent decrease over the 680 sales in Q2 2017, according to data from Commercial Edge, a commercial real estate system operated by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV).

The total dollar value of commercial real estate sales in the Lower Mainland was $4.047 billion in Q2 2018, a 13.4 per cent increase over $3.570 billion in Q2 2017.

“Similar to our residential market in recent months, we’re starting to see fewer transactions across all categories in our commercial market,” Phil Moore, REBGV president said. “Higher interest rates, reduced retail activity, and other economic factors are contributing to this change.”

Q2 2018 activity by category

Land: There were 217 commercial land sales in Q2 2018, which is a 16.5 per cent decrease from the 260 land sales in Q2 2017. The dollar value of land sales was $2.287 billion in Q2 2018, a 24.6 per cent increase over $1.836 billion in Q2 2017.

Office and Retail: There were 192 office and retail sales in the Lower Mainland in Q2 2018, which is down 20 per cent from the 240 sales in Q2 2017. The dollar value of office and retail sales was $813 million in Q2 2018, a 19.7 per cent decrease from $1.013 billion in Q2 2017.

Industrial: There were 126 industrial land sales in the Lower Mainland in Q2 2018, which is down 6.7 per cent from the 135 sales in Q2 2017. The dollar value of industrial sales was $0.387 billion in Q2 2018, a 23.9 per cent increase over $313 million in Q2 2017.

Multi-Family: There were 34 multi-family land sales in the Lower Mainland in Q2 2018, which is down 24.4 per cent from the 45 sales in Q2 2017. The dollar value of multi-family sales was $559 million in Q2 2018, a 37 per cent increase over $408 million in Q2 2017.

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.